Chhattisgarh state’s school education project gets approval, World Bank approves $300 million loan

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Monday approved a $300 million loan to help expand and improve the quality of education in government schools in Chhattisgarh. The project aims to benefit around 4 million students. Most of whom are children from the poor and vulnerable sections of the state.,

About 86 percent of the schools in Chhattisgarh are run by the government. While the enrollment at the primary school level is 95 percent. At the higher secondary level, it is only 57.6 percent and the enrollment of boys is 10.8 percent less than that of girls. This is because of non-availability of science and commerce education in many senior secondary schools, lack of trained science and mathematics teachers, lack of necessary infrastructure like laboratories and facilities. Students from remote areas also face the problem of accommodation. While girls have the facility of residential school under the centrally sponsored Samagra Shiksha programme.

The Chhattisgarh Accelerated Learning for a Knowledge Economy Operation (CHALK) aims to improve access to education across all grades. Also to address the growing demand for science and commerce studies at the higher secondary level. For schools in remote locations, it will also provide access to residential facilities for male students and teachers.

The project will help develop and operate around 600 model composite schools from classes 1 to 12. At the same time, it will offer science and commerce at the higher secondary level. These schools will provide quality education through adequate infrastructure facilities for management and learning including trained teachers, strong school leadership. Support will also include climate-proofing school infrastructure using environmentally sound construction practices.

Auguste Tano Koume, World Bank Country Director in India, said that “the project will help expand the network of government-managed schools offering science and commerce education at the senior secondary level”. And will help in preparing to take advantage of the emerging employment opportunities in the service sectors.

Teacher training initiatives under the project will help in enhancing the quality of teaching in the classrooms to improve the learning levels of the students. More than 175,000 teachers are expected to receive in-service professional development support under the project. Teachers will be provided access to student-specific remedial educational resources based on the system of school-based learning evaluation from time to time.

Project team leaders Karthik Pental, Shobhana Sosle and Supriti Dua said that ‘to build on a robust government program that is making credible gains towards recovery from learning losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is a collaboration between teachers and school management Will provide access to professional development support. It will also strengthen the existing system of school-based assessment to enable remedial learning support to students.

The $300 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) uses the Program-for-Results (PFORR) financing instrument. Which directly links the distribution of funds to the achievement of specific program outcomes. The maturity period of the loan is 18.5 years with a grace period of 5 years.

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